I took a photograph of a man taking a photograph of a fellow classmate taking a photograph. Wait, what? Just think about it. Our class traveled to the Terezin Labor Camp in the Czech republic today, which I will discuss more in a separate post. However, while we were visiting the town’s prison, another photographer seemed to be lurking on the fringes of our group at the conclusion of our tour of the grounds. I noticed him earlier in the afternoon when we first arrived due to the large music box of a camera he had dangling from his neck, but my interest grew when we became the subject of his interest.
At first I was intrigued to watch him change out the film after each shot. It seemed to function much like a Polaroid, but older and bigger. My whole concern with the antique was the fact that you really cannot just ‘mess around’ with settings, lighting, and such to produce a successful image. In fact, it stressed me out to think of how much film and money I’d waste if I didn’t use a digital camera. Professionals only I suppose? It solidified my relief that I have the luxury to learn so easily and less stressful. Film, in my opinion, is the pure art of photography.
As I watched him begin to swoop in to capture a photo of one of my classmates taking a photo, I realized that some mechanisms of a photographer are simply universal. When I attempted to snap a photo of him, I strolled casually around him and set up my shot as discretely as possible. He seemed to have the same ‘creeping’ technique as both myself and Master Photographer Darling (Professor Darling). I found it rather entertaining to watch his process: observation, then visualization of the photo he wanted, and finally quickly managing to sneakily move into position without altering the genuine response of the subject, all in a single attempt. It impressed me to see this technique in motion, but used by a different and definitely older photograph machine. Because of my competitive nature, I took it upon myself to win this photograph ‘war’. He obviously knew what I was up to and often moved out of my shots. However, I type here today, a proud victorious contender of this self-proclaimed game. I took the last shot (well, so that I know of).